Czechoslovakia: Anvil of the Cold War

By John O. Crane; Sylvia E. Crane | Go to book overview

15 The Slovak Uprising: The Government's Return Home

Eduard Beneš's call to arms for anti-German action at home, following the completion of his treaty of alliance and friendship with Soviet Russia, led promptly to sprucing up the resistance. The broadcast caused "much excitement and enthusiasm among the Slovak people," and according to reports from home became "the sole topic of conversation in Slovakia." It was deemed a matter of "historic significance for [the] country and brought a still more consolidated cooperation among all political elements." The "call for revolt will be fulfilled," prophesied an informant, especially when the "Second Front is opened [and] the Russians approach our frontiers."1 Another, intelligence source, "a prominent Czechoslovak politician" who "enjoys authority and confidence in all walks of public life... and belongs to the inner circle... cooperating with Pres. Beneš," said unmistakably that "all the leaders of the underground movement in the Czech territories and in Slovakia have mutually unified their present activities and their political programme."2

The immediate fruit of the reaction was the formation during Christmas week of 1943 of the Slovak National Council, which naturally gained Beneš's prompt endorsement upon his return to London. The council represented a rudimentary coalition of the Slovak Communist Party, still semiautonomous from the Klement Gottwald organization in Moscow, and a group of Masaryk-Beneš adherents, comprising all partisan leaders hostile to the Josef Tiso regime, who ultimately banded together as the Democratic Party. This promising embryo of a future provincial government soon polarized, however, into left and moderate segments.

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Czechoslovakia: Anvil of the Cold War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • Introduction xvii
  • Notes xxvi
  • 1- The Independence Movement Commences 1
  • Notes 10
  • 2- Founding of the Legions: Entrapment in Anti- Bolshevik Intervention 11
  • Notes 26
  • 3- The Legions Anabasis To the Sea 30
  • Notes 46
  • 4- Masaryk in America 50
  • Notes 62
  • 5- Drawing the Frontiers 63
  • Notes 70
  • 6- Internal Stabilization 72
  • Notes 84
  • 7- The Beneš Succession: Storm Warnings (1935-38) 85
  • Notes 101
  • 8- The Sudeten Fires Flare (1938) 103
  • Notes 121
  • 9- Summer Turmoil (1938) 124
  • Notes 130
  • 10- The Runciman Mission (summer 1938) 131
  • Notes 148
  • 11- Munich (september 1938) 151
  • Notes 169
  • 12- Aftermath of Munich (1938-41) 172
  • Notes 185
  • 13- War on Two Fronts (1941) 187
  • Notes 202
  • 14- Wartime Conferences And Treaties 205
  • Notes 215
  • 15- The Slovak Uprising: The Government's Return Home 218
  • Notes 232
  • 16- The Government Reconstituted On Home Ground (1945) 235
  • Notes 245
  • 17- Nationalities Transfers And Allied Army Withdrawals (1945) 247
  • Notes 255
  • 18- Democratic Socialization (1945-46) 257
  • Notes 271
  • 19- Cold War Beginnings (1946) 273
  • Notes 287
  • 20- Storm Signals (1947) 290
  • Notes 306
  • 21- The Communist Coup (1947-48) 308
  • Notes 318
  • 22- The Death of Jan Masaryk (1948) 320
  • Notes 332
  • Abbreviations 333
  • Bibliography 335
  • Index 343
  • About the Authors 353
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